It’s almost April – spring (or fall, depending on your hemisphere) and for many rural tourism businesses, it’s EEEK season.
I wrote about this last fall, our last EEEK season: Creating a Successful Tourism Business Shoulder Season for 2010.
The major tourism seasons are either winter or summer, and in between is EEK season (unless you have fall color in your area or something hatching in spring in a big way).
It’s EEEK because we suddenly realize that the marketing for the upcoming major tourism season should have started two months ago, when we were very busy with the other major tourism season.
I worked for a number of years as a freelance magazine writer, and learned through that experience to set my internal clock 6 months ahead. Everything needed to be pitched and sold 6 months ahead in the magazine industry.
It was crazy. I was a regular contributor to a children’s arts magazine, so I was creating Christmas art projects in June, Halloween projects in early spring and Easter projects with my world drenched in fall color.
My grown children are still a little odd about holidays. They were my test subjects, creating adorable samples and posing with Easter baskets in settings that I could later photoshop to turn the dead leaves into fluffy blossoms.
My point is, if you haven’t done so already, get your summer marketing out. Now. This week.
Then, spend a little time thinking about next winter. This is the best time to record all the ideas you wish you had implemented for your winter (or summer) 2010 season.
- What did you notice online that you wish you had done?
- What worked really well that surprised you, that you need to remember to do more of and better for next year?
- What has been nagging at you to do all season long?
- Where did you wish you’d advertise?
- Where did you wish you HADN’T advertised?
- What was you best day? Week? Month? of the season? Why? What do you need to do to make that happen again next year in a bigger and better way?
- Where did most of your seasonal customers come from? How did they hear about you? How can you attract more of these people from the same place?
After answering these questions, and more that will naturally come up as you assess your past season, create a to-do list for next year. Plug actions into your calendar.
Think about your marketing 6 months in advance, and eliminate EEEK season!
Check out Fotologic’s flickr photostream